Soroco’s Ceanna Rossi blocks a shot from Hayden’s Sierra Ehlers on Friday. Soroco took a double-digit lead in the first but couldn’t hang on against their cross-county rivals, falling 60-46.

Photo by Joel Reichenberger

Soroco’s Ceanna Rossi blocks a shot from Hayden’s Sierra Ehlers on Friday. Soroco took a double-digit lead in the first but couldn’t hang on against their cross-county rivals, falling 60-46.

Hayden girls basketball comes back in 2nd half against Soroco

Tigers girls hoops defeats Rams, 60-46

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Hayden's Aubree Haskins puts a shot up Friday against Soroco.

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Hayden's Brette Frentress cruises for a layup Friday against Soroco.

2010-11 Rams girls basketball schedule

— The Hayden High School girls basketball team wasn’t always great Friday night. In fact, it frequently struggled.

But where the Tigers dominated, they did so thoroughly, and despite facing a determined Soroco team playing in front of a raucous home crowd, that was enough.

Hayden overcame a double-digit first-half deficit to beat Soroco, 60-46.

“Soroco’s a really tough team. I was really proud the way our girls came back,” Hayden coach Eric Hamilton said. “In the second half, the girls played smart. We started playing Tiger basketball.”

Friday’s game won’t figure into the Western Slope League standings. The teams will meet again later this season in Hayden for their official league contest. Still, the Rams seemed to be on the verge of making a huge statement about where things stood as they ran up the score on the state’s No. 7-ranked Class 2A team early in the game.

Soroco beat Hayden forwards to the boards in the first two quarters, and the Rams’ capable guards worked through the Tigers pressure and found open shots. The Rams took the initiative on defense as well, forcing turnovers, and Soroco led 16-11 after the first quarter and 29-18 later in the half.

“We hadn’t played against a good press this season,” Hayden’s Erin Koehler said. “On defense, we let them get back on the break. That’s not how we usually play.”

Hayden came back with a vengeance. The Rams turned the ball over five times in the first halfbut gave it away 23 times in the second.

“When you’re playing maybe one of the top five teams in the state, you can’t do that,” Soroco coach David Bruner said.

Hayden’s forwards began to assert themselves, as well. Koehler went scoreless in the first quarter, but had 10 in the second half. She finished with 15 to lead the team. Aubree Haskins, meanwhile, scored eight from the post. They both began to dominate the boards, meaning the possessions Soroco did manage to scoot down the court often resulted in just one shot. The Tigers, meanwhile, sometimes took four and even five shots on each offensive possession.

Combined with an effective fast-break offense and improved shooting from the guards — Brette Frentress finished with 12 points and Morgan Bell with nine — the Tigers were too good.

“We got our butts chewed at halftime,” Koehler said. “We’re strong, tall girls, so when we can pound it in, we can get our guards clean shots.”

Soroco wasn’t finished. Corey Snyder, who finished with a game-high 16 points, spearheaded several surges, the best of which closed Soroco’s deficit from 10 points to one point after Micaela Meyer swished three free throws.

Koehler scored six of Hayden’s next 10 points, however, and the Rams never scored again, going the final 4 minutes, 18 seconds without a basket.

Both teams were insistent they needed to play better in games today.

Soroco travels to Paonia to square off against the defending Class 2A state champion Paonia.

“We can’t go down there and turn the ball over like we did here or we’ll get the same result,” Bruner said.

Hayden will play at Rangely, ranked as the No. 8 team in the state.

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